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Flyers’ Danny Briere Comments on Coyotes Relocation: ‘I wanted them to stay’

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Long before his days as the general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers, Danny Briere was once drafted by and played for the Phoenix Coyotes, who have since rebranded as the Arizona Coyotes.

In only a few days, the Arizona Coyotes will become the Utah… well, something. The name of the franchise is still unclear, but suffice to say, Briere is still saddened to see the team that started this journey for him be lost to time – at least for now.

“It’s sad. It’s sad. It’s the team I was drafted by. I have some special memories there,” Briere reflected. “I wanted them to stay. I think the fans and the city deserve better. It’s been tough to watch the way the organization was never able to take a step forward.

“I’m sad to see that, especially for the fans in Arizona.”

Briere was drafted 24th overall by the Coyotes back in 1996 and would remain in the organization until 2003, when he was traded to Buffalo. After four years there, Briere would join the Flyers, with whom he’d spend six seasons with and eventually become a franchise icon.

During his time in the desert, the Flyers GM got to play alongside some of the NHL’s best, including Keith Tkachuk, Shane Doan, Teppo Numminen, Jeremy Roenick, Mike Gartner, and Rick Tocchet.

Tocchet is now the head coach of the Vancouver Canucks and has been wildly successful in his short time there. Doan and Numminen became two of the franchise’s very best players, and Gartner would soon be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame.

Before Briere joined the Flyers, the Coyotes had some special players in Arizona helping build something. Obviously, at varying points in the franchise’s history, things went south – sometimes quickly. Undoubtedly, it is a shame to see Arizona lose their hockey team, even with the possibility that a franchise returns to them in the next five years.

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